For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2003 James Melough

35:1.  “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,”


35:2.  “Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it,”


Having declared the doom of Israel’s false shepherds, God here commands His servant to announce the doom of Seir, i.e., the territory of Jacob’s twin brother Edom (Esau), which lay south of the Dead Sea.


35:3.  “And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate.”


The prophecy began with the most awful pronouncement that any nation or man could hear, “I am against thee.”  The believer has God’s assurance, “I am with thee always, even unto the end of the world (age),” Mt 28:20, with the added assurance, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Heb 13:5.


“... most desolate” is also translated, desolate waste: desolation and an astonishment: waste and a cause for wonder: desert and desolation.  This will be also the end of the man who dies unrepentant.


35:4.  “I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.”


The same sad fact continues to be announced that the One they could have known as the God of love and mercy, had they obeyed Him, is the One they must ultimately know as the stern Executor of judgment, because they choose to walk in disobedience, as will every man who refuses to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.


35:5.  “Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end:”


The record of Edom’s slaughter of the Jews is recorded in Ob 11-14.


“... perpetual” is also translated, long-standing: an old enmity.  Concerning Israel it is written, “Israel is my son, even my first born,” Ex 4:22; and again, “For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.  He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, and he kept him as the apple (pupil) of his eye,”Dt 32:9-10; and again, “... he that toucheth you (Israel) toucheth the apple (pupil) of his (God’s) eye,” Zech 2:8.


The same principle applies also to believers of this present age of grace, hence the Lord’s command to us, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” Jn 13:34-35.


“... their calamity” is also translated the hour of their doom.  Having refused to repent in God’s time, that generation of rebel Israel had doomed themselves to eternal destruction.


35:6.  “Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith (since) thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.”


God’s swearing by Himself declares the immutability of the sentence against Edom; their being prepared “unto blood” meaning that He was going to hand them over to be slain by the sword.  Since they had delighted in shedding blood He would requite their blood-lust by delivering them into the hands of those who would shed their blood, as the Lord warned Peter, “... all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword,” Mt 26:52.


35:7.  “Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth.”


The land of Seir would be left so desolate that none would come or go through it.


35:8.  “And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers (ravines), shall they fall that are slain with the sword.”


The destruction would extend throughout the length and breadth of the land.  The bodies of the slain would lie everywhere.


35:9.  “I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”


The desolation of the land would continue for ever.  No one would ever again inhabit the deserted cities.  And like the tolling of an ceaseless knell the truth continues to be emphasized that they would only know God as the Avenger because they had refused to know Him as the Blesser of obedience.


35:10.  “Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the Lord was there:”


With greedy anticipation the Edomites viewed God’s deportation of His rebellious people Israel and Judah, as their opportunity to seize for themselves the lands thus vacated, the final clause being also translated, although the Lord was there: where Yahweh used to be.


35:11.  “Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee.”


The New English Bible translates the first half of this sentence, “... your anger and jealousy shall be requited, for I will do to you what you have done in your hatred against them.


“... I will make myself known among them” is also translated, “among you,” but there is no need to quibble over which is correct, for both, in fact, are true: the Edomites and the Israelites would both know, by His judgment of Edom, that the One to Whom they were both accountable, was the omnipotent Jehovah.


35:12.  “And thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume.”


Clearly this is addressed to the Edomites.  In the day when He executed judgment against them for their blasphemies (revilings: contemptuous words) against Israel, they would learn how wrong they had been in concluding that God’s expulsion of Israel and Judah meant that He was thereby making the land available to them, the Edomites.


35:13.  “Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them.”


“... boasted” is also translated spoken recklessly: talked arrogantly: have repeatedly slandered me: used insolent and wild words.  He Who discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart, doesn’t need to hear what men say in order to know what they think: He is omniscient.  He knew their evil thoughts, and was about to requite them in full measure.


35:14.  “Thus saith the Lord God; When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will make thee desolate.”


“When the whole earth rejoiceth,” can scarcely have any other application than to the Millennium, thus indicating that Edom will have no part in the blessings of that halcyon age.


35:15.  “As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the Lord.”

[Ezekiel 36]


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough